It was announced on Tuesday that the editor of Deadspin, Gawker’s sports-oriented website, was fired for “not sticking to sports” by his equity firm corporate overlords. Deadspin has been a daily stop of mine for years now, partially because of the sports reporting, but more because of the ancillary content: it’s often the stuff that’s on the periphery of sports that I like to read. I’ve always enjoyed the editorial voice found there, and the writers they’ve collected over the years were original and interesting. The Outline puts it well:
No other publication has turned such a consistently critical, interrogative, moral, and necessarily cynical eye toward an industry rotted through with bullshit, while also maintaining the levity and humor sometimes required to think seriously about what many people see as children’s games, and more importantly, provide an enjoyable reading experience.
The editor was fired because they told him to run more ads and mess with the formula that made the site profitable. It should be said that the new owners have no prior experience running a media outlet. One of them made his money building an internet advertising company, which is why Deadspin is now suddenly covered in autoplay videos. Yesterday, pretty much the entire staff up and quit.
The media landscape is getting more and more grim as the days go on. Excellent sites are shutting down, being sued out of existence, or just quietly dying on the vine. Go home and hug your family, and make sure your subscription to the New York Times is paid in full.
Update: Drew Magary quit this morning. Removing the site from my reading list.
Drew Magary is one of my favorite writers. His sports writing gets me excited for football season, and he has a special way with soliciting and answering email from the public. Late last year he went silent for a couple of months; it turned out he’d had a brain hemorrhage and was in the hospital for a month. He finally wrote about the experience; I can directly relate to about 85% percent of his story.
I otherwise slept well, except for numerous instances when staff would have to come in to check my vitals or give me appointed meds. They usually did this by switching on all the sour fluorescent lights, which caused me to groan out loud. Then they would say GOOD MORNING MISTER MAGARY! like they were there to deliver me news of Christ’s birth.
He’s a professional, so he writes much better than I do. There were many things I wish I’d been able to say that he said so much better.
I cheated death, and now the Reaper has a chit for my head that he can cash in any time he likes. I now know firsthand that he doesn’t always telegraph his arrival. I was blindsided. When I was young, I thought nothing could kill me. I know I’m old now because I believe that everything can kill me, including just going to a work shindig. I have the receipts to prove it.
“I’d jump his bewns.” Jen and I still quote this to each other.
“That thing is the Citizen Kane of wasted teenage metalness,” says Rick Ballard, who makes a brief appearance as part of a gang yelling curses at the moviemakers.
Heavy Metal Parking Lot is like a live-action recreation of my high school yearbook: the faces, hairstyles, and attitudes are almost identical, even though the accents are pure Dundalk. Previously, previously.